Technology has had a dramatic impact on how employees choose and keep track of their benefits. The tedious and workforce-consuming task of educating and distributing information about benefits has now become efficient and effective. But, technology has the power to do more than just provide insight. It also has the power to reduce cost and change employee behavior.
In the process of reducing costs, technology is allowing employees to take control of their benefits. As a result, workers are able to make the best decisions to meet their needs. Here are some examples of how technology is transforming the industry.
1) On demand information
As mentioned, technology gives employees access to their benefits on demand. Online portals provide the platform to do this well and securely. Employers should make this the go to place for all questions related to benefits. The portal should be a library of important documents, notices, and updates. Furthermore, it should provide helpful tips on remaining healthy through insightful articles and engaging content.
2) Behavior enhancing tools
Changing human behavior is one of the singular most difficult things to do. Yet, technology is making the promotion of healthier behaviors much more effective. Employers are turning to game apps and points systems to make being healthy fun. When employers provide incentives like points or badges, it motivates employees to make changes. Game apps are a simple and fun way to get employees to soak in information you want them to know.
3) Virtual Healthcare
The changes made through the Affordable Care Act have prompted both employers and employees to focus on cost. Providing ways for employees to answer non-emergency medical questions without having to visit an office is a great way to reduce some of those costs. Whether via online portals, apps or remote technology – having reliable access to accurate information helps people take control of their own health. It also boosts productivity by reducing the amount of time spent going to doctor visits. Some employers are using systems in which they can get a direct response from a doctor about their medical problem.
4) Tailored programs
Big data (large amounts of information that can reveal patterns about human behavior) is another important tool that makes employer healthcare initiatives more effective. By analyzing data about your company, you can discover what is causing employees to use medical services. For example, some of the companies using the ‘ask a doctor’ systems described above began discovering an underlying cause for employee doctor visits: Employees simply didn’t know what was cause for concern. With this information, these employers were able to find a solution to the core problem. Big data helps companies develop effective programs. The quality and type of data available will depend on how many employees are covered for a specific company.
Technology is changing how benefits are managed for the better. By mimicking how people use it, we can make managing health and insurance more intuitive and simple. With the use of these simple tools, your company will notice effective, long term results.